Not available in 2017/18
SA4N5      Half Unit
Global Ageing

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Emily Grundy OLD.1.11

This course is compulsory on the MSc Global Health, recommended for students on MSc Global Population Health and MSc Population and Development and available to students on other MSc programmes with an interest in the subject.


This course is available on the MSc in Global Population Health, MSc in Health and International Development and MSc in Population and Development. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

A core course for students taking MSc Global Health, very relevant to students on MSc Global Population Health, Social Policy MScs and  MSc Population and Development. It  is available to students on other programmes who have an interest in the topic.  .

Course content

Population ageing is now a near global phenomenon and is perceived as presenting major challenges not only in regions with an already high representation of older people but also in low and middle income countries set to ‘grow old before they grow rich’. This course will consider the process and implications of ageing at both the population and the individual level and policy responses.

The course will be structured into five sections. The first will focus on demographic change and the causes and the course of population ageing in various world regions. This element will include explanation and discussion of population dynamics (how populations age) and inter-related social and economic changes associated with demographic transition (why populations age) and their implications for both older and younger generations.

The second section will focus on the process of ageing at the individual level including an overview of recent biological  theories of ageing; consideration of family and social support for older people and life course influences on ageing.

In the third section the emphasis will be on trends and differentials in the health of older populations. This will include discussion of  measures of health and disability and current debates about the future health status of the older population in different settings and prospects for further changes in longevity.

The fourth section will consider different models of health and social care provision in older populations; associations between ageing and work and debates about economic implications of population ageing and different pillars of economic support for older people, including social pensions.

The final section will deal with  policy responses to population ageing at the international and national and regional level.



15 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT. 2 hours of lectures in the ST.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 piece of coursework in the LT.

Students will be asked to work in groups (of 3-5)  to prepare and lead seminars.  Students will also be required to produce a 1,000 word essay similar to the type of essay questions included in the exam.

Indicative reading

Albertini M, Martin K, Vogel C. Intergenerational transfers of time and money in European families: common patterns – different regimes? Journal  of European Social Policy 2007;17(4):319–34.

Kinsella K, Wan H. An Aging World: 2008, International Population Reports, US Department of Health and Human Services, 2009.

Lee R, Mason A. Population Ageing and the Generational Economy: A Global Perspective. Edward  Elgar Publishing, 2011.

McDaniel SA, Zimmer Z (eds). Global Ageing in the Twenty First Century. Ashgate Publishing Ltd, 2013.

Rechel B, Doyle Y, Grundy E, McKee M. How can Health Systems Respond to Population Ageing? World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen, 2009.

Siegel JS. The Demography and Epidemiology of Human Health and Aging. Springer, 2012.

Uhlenberg P (ed). International Handbook  of Population Aging, Springer, 2009.


Exam (75%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (25%, 3000 words) in the LT.

Student performance results

(2015/16 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 3.6
Merit 71.4
Pass 25
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2016/17: 37

Average class size 2016/17: 13

Controlled access 2016/17: Yes

Lecture capture used 2016/17: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills

Course survey results

(2015/16 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 64%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)